Eastern Poison Ivy Toxicodendron radicans (Linnaeus) Kuntze    Synonyms: Eastern Poison-ivy, Poison Ivy, Rhus radicans, Rhus toxicodendron, Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Tracheophyta   >   Class Magnoliopsida   >   Order Sapindales   >   Family Anacardiaceae   >   Genus Toxicodendron   

Status:

A vine that is common across the state and most of the nation.

Description:

Poison Ivy is an early-successional species,taking advantage of disturbance, whether human-caused or natural. It is sun-loving and grows prolifically, producing networks of roots that spread easily. This is a benefit for shorelines and dunes, helping hold the sand in place. It has a variety of growth habits, from creeping along the ground via runners, to climbing high up in trees. Older vines on tree trunks have numerous hairs, helping identify the plant. The leaves, almost always composed of three leaflets, are highly variable in size and shape. The fruits, on branches off the main vine trunk, persist into the winter, making identification easy even at that season.

Where to find:

Poison Ivy is common in open places.

Relationships:

Berries are an important food source for many songbirds.

A host plant to various moth species including Dark Marathyssa Moth. Sumac Leafblotch Miner Moth and Cameraria guttifinitella form leafmines on foliage.

Host plant to the leaf beetle Pachybrachis tridens.

Host plant for Poison Ivy Sawfly.

Host plant for the Poison Ivy Leaf Gall Mite.

Although all parts of Eastern Poison Ivy can cause a contact dermatitis in people, it's best to leave it alone if it is growing in a place where people are not likely to come in contact with it. Well-intentioned people often cut it down in the mistaken belief that all vines are harmful to trees, but only the non-native vines pose a real threat (J. Hill/MNPS).

There are 1,082 records in the project database.

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Eastern Poison Ivy at Fort Smallwood Park, Maryland (5/5/2012). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Washington Co., Maryland (5/28/2017). Photo by Mark Etheridge. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy blooming in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/26/2012). Photo by Fritz Flohr Reynolds. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Howard Co., Maryland (4/22/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy blooming in Harford Co., Maryland (5/19/2018). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Washington Co., Maryland (5/28/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Blooming Eastern Poison Ivy in Harford Co., Maryland (5/25/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Allegany Co., Maryland (5/30/2014). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Washington Co., Maryland (5/10/2017). Photo by Linda Lewis. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (7/5/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Talbot Co., Maryland (10/9/2010). Photo by Danny Poet. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Wicomico Co., Maryland (5/27/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Dorchester Co., Maryland (4/2/2016). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (5/7/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Caroline Co., Maryland (4/26/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Howard Co., Maryland (6/15/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (7/12/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy vine growing on a Tulip Poplar in Montgomery Co., Maryland (2/12/2017). Photo by Bill Hill. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Caroline Co., Maryland (3/23/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing as a heavy vine in Calvert Co., Maryland (2/10/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Harford Co., Maryland (12/6/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Baltimore Co., Maryland (4/23/2013). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Harford Co., Maryland (12/10/2016). Photo by Dave Webb. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy (fruit in winter) in Harford Co., Maryland (12/6/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy (fruit in late fall) in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/21/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/29/2012). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Kent Co., Maryland (7/16/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Montgomery Co., Maryland (12/12/2015). Photo by Mike Ostrowski. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Montgomery Co., Maryland (12/8/2015). Photo by Mike Ostrowski. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Baltimore Co., Maryland (5/20/2016). Photo by Kirsten Johnson. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy leaves mined by Cameraria guttifinitella in Harford Co., Maryland (9/16/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Dorchester Co., Maryland (3/24/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

An Eastern Poison Ivy leaf hosting a Dimorphic Macalla Moth caterpillar in Howard Co., Maryland (8/27/2016). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/14/2020). (c) Katya Tregub, all rights reserved. Photo by Katya Tregub-Emrick. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Caroline Co., Maryland (8/27/2021). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Baltimore City, Maryland (4/27/2020). (c) Molly O. Hoopes, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Molly O. Hoopes via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy growing in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (10/14/2015). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (5/4/2019). (c) Ashley M Bradford, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Ashley Bradford. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Baltimore Co., Maryland (4/26/2019). (c) laurabankey, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by laurabankey via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Baltimore Co., Maryland (4/25/2020). (c) mestizothelioma, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by mestizothelioma via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Poison Ivy in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/24/2020). (c) Janet Gingold, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Janet Gingold via iNaturalist. (MBP list)


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